Binghamton gift-wrapped the No. 1 seed in the America East tourney for Stony Brook when the previously winless Bearcats upset Vermont near the end of the regular season. Now, Binghamton is positioned to upset the Seawolves' applecart after scoring a 73-67 overtime win over University of Maryland-Baltimore County in the play-in game between the eighth and ninth seeds Thursday night at the University of Hartford's Chase Family Arena.
The Bearcats (2-28, 1-15 America East) took an 11-point lead over UMBC (4-26, 3-13) with 7:56 left in regulation but managed only one point the rest of the way as the Retrievers sent the game to overtime when Chase Plummer made the first of two free throws with 57 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 58.
In the overtime session, Jim Gray scored eight of the Bearcats' 15 points, including four of the five foul shots Binghamton made in the final minute. Gray finished with 14 points, but Binghamton was led by Ben Dickinson's 21 points and nine rebounds and Jabrille Williams and Chris Longoria each chipped in 11 points. Brian Neller topped UMBC with 18 points, Plummer scored 17 and Ryan Cook added 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Now, the Bearcats advance to a first-round meeting with Stony Brook (20-8, 14-2) at noon on Saturday. Although they were crushed by the Seawolves, 82-48, on Feb. 1 at SBU, Binghamton gave Stony Brook a scare in a 60-54 home loss on Jan. 5. The winner of the Binghamton-Stony Brook game meets the winner of Albany-New Hampshire in the semifinals at 5 p.m. Sunday. If the Seawolves advance to the finals, the game will be played at 11 a.m. on March 10 at Stony Brook Arena.